Less Is More

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I’ve set myself a challenge. How many of us made January resolutions? If we did, how many included the word ’more’? ‘Do more exercise’, ‘have a more fulfilling career’, ‘make more money’... The unusual thing about my challenge is that it’s about ‘less’: to slow down, do less, ‘un-hurry’.  

I came to this conclusion after reading a great book that described life as ‘pathological busyness’. There doesn’t seem enough minutes in the day; you’re a pinball ricocheting from one thing to another. No time to think or be. 

Did you know the average adult watches 35 hours of TV a week, spends 2½ hours a day on their phone, touching it 2617 times a day? Or that the average attention span since the digital revolution has dropped from 12 to 8 seconds? Or that no one really admits to any of this and we all wildly underestimate?

Don’t get me wrong, I love a good Netflix series, my phone is always near, and I never want to return to the pre-internet world. But it got me thinking. How much of my time do I just fill? Is this where the feeling of hurry comes from? What would life be like if I didn’t fill every space and I allowed my mind to just be still? 

In the Bible, the Psalmist talks about the importance of being still, of thinking, of pausing, of being, of having the space to think about the things that make life worthwhile: ‘Be still and know that I am God’, ‘Taste and see that the Lord is good’.

So that’s the change – do ‘less’ in order to live ‘more’.

(The book is ‘The Ruthless Elimination of Hurry’ and of course I downloaded the workbook. The irony is not lost on me; I’m not very good at doing less. Still, one day at a time...)

Useful passage to look up: Psalm 46 (especially verse 10)

Photo by Gift Habeshaw on Unsplash